The Wild Storm #1 Meanderings + Update


What are Meanderings

In-depth analysis, questions, and speculation.

The Wild Storm #1

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Publisher: DC Comics – February 15, 2017
Writer:
Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Variant Covers: Tula Lotay, Jim Lee and Alex Sinclair
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Marie Javins

Do NOT read the Storm Warning article from the previous week’s DC Comics about The Wild Storm! [SPOILER-FREE PORTION]

I had to read the book twice!  After having recently read the “Storm Warning” from the pages of DC Comics the week before, I felt that I just knew too much to know how to feel about it, and my expectations were through the roof.  When I was reading it, I went very slowly, looking and reading very carefully, maybe too carefully and that somehow created a reading experience that seemed less authentic or something.  So, I slept on it, and the next day I read it again, but this time trying to knock off the baggage of putting what I knew from the “Storm Warning” over my experience and digest it more naturally.  I realized, reading it with the “baggage” the first time actually made it stressful and disconnected because I was looking for the connections in this first issue to line up with what was revealed in the “Storm Warning.”  The first issue doesn’t address to reveal things as straight forward as the info from “Storm Warning” and that kinda distracted me from just taking it for what it was.  I really kinda wish I hadn’t read the “Storm Warning.”  A note for the marketing team,.. it’s a double-edged sword!  I was excited for the “Storm Warning” and ate it up, but on the other hand, it was revealing things that aren’t as clearly revealed or revealed at all in the first issue.  I felt like I was reading something that I had a strong bias towards and couldn’t tell if it was enjoyable.  I think it was good.  I wondered how the book came across for those who knew less about it, like my husband!  I want to know what he thinks!  If any of the great reviews and crazy positive ratings people have already been giving it are any indication, I thought, “it must be good!”  All the reviews I’ve found are very very super positive!  Check them out at the bottom, they’re all spoier-free.  Back to my first reading of the book, there was just less to speculate about for me, not that there isn’t ANYTHING to speculate about, I’m sure there’s tons more.  For one, the official details we’d been given in the “Storm Warning,” that status quo, isn’t even necessarily where the book begins at, so there’s some speculation left to determine how you get from where things are in issue #1 to what we know from the “Storm Warning.”   All I’m saying is that if I hadn’t read the “Storm Warning,” reading the first issue would’ve cause crazy excitement and so so so much more speculation, which I love doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I AM still excited!  Doors haven’t been closed or something.  I think knowing about the original WSU added to my enjoyment for sure, though I don’t think it’s needed, I definitely think it IS better for previous fans.  So how’d it go the second time around?

So how’d it go the second time around?

Thoughts, Questions, and Speculation [SPOILERS AHEAD]

Wow, I don’t know if it’s because I’m familiar with the source material or it’s just that good.  I’m assuming it’s both, but more because I have an idea of what’s to come, cause my anticipation for more is through the roof.  I want to and can’t wait to read more.  What a great set up!  So much going on, and you can just see all the possible trails to what could become what WildStorm fans are familiar with.  It’s pretty awesome.  Still, I wonder how this is for those who know NOTHING of WildStorm!  I must get my husband Jaysen to read this and report ha ha.  I have a feeling he’ll like it, but probably won’t have as much excitement about it as I do.  It’s a very good first issue for any comic.  You can tell that there are all sorts of forces at work and in contention with each other.  It’s really exactly how Warren Ellis has been touting it to be, secret government organizations, secret space programs, and others we’ve yet to see, but I expect we’ll see soon.  It’s like the new history of the old WSU.  Everything actually seems more grounded and makes more sense.

Update:
So Jaysen read it.  Outside of knowing how excited I am for it, he said he would need a few more issues to determine if he likes it.  He said it reminded him of Morning Glories in the sense that there definitely was a lot going on that was a mystery to the reader.  His description of it sounded like a political sci-fi thriller.  I talked to him about the issue and he didn’t seem to notice some of the things I had.  Or rather, he didn’t ask the questions I did to come to the conclusions that I had.  He didn’t know or think that Voodoo was a recording artist, for example.  He thought the best written character was Angela Spica.  The rest he felt needed a little bit more distinction, but he didn’t think that too many characters were introduced and he liked the diversity.  He was confused between IO and Halo and who was with who.  He felt he didn’t notice enough distinction between the two entities upon first reading.  He also wasn’t sure if it was seperate from the regular DCU or not.

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Lucy Blaze, Zealot and Division and IO

We first get introduced to Zealot (Lucy Blaze) who is investigating an instance of illegal gene editing.  I believed she was an agent of IO (International Operations), a secret government organization, but we don’t actually see that connection being made in this issue.  In fact, in the beginning, she calls into the “Division” NOT IO.  I think I may have assumed she was with IO because the Storm Warning reveals that IO has CATs (Covert Action Teams) and Zealot is originally associated with the WildC.A.T.s.

Q: Is the “Division” some other organization, or is it also IO?

Anyhow, it gets messy and she calls into “Division” to report and request a cleaning team.  The cleaning team that she requested seemed to imply that she’s been with them for a long time, and she hasn’t needed their service in “forever.”  Was there a reason why she was messy this time?

Q: Was there a reason why she was messy this time?

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Priscilla Kitaen, Voodoo, and  Jacob Marlowe, Lord Emp and Halo

Literally a block away, we then are introduced to Voodoo (Priscilla Kitaen) who looks to be with possibly 3 other people, two of which are women.  I think they’re in about the area of Times Square, as I see a street sign for 9th Ave, and tons of billboards and video screens up in buildings.  She only seems to interact with one.  Voodoo is talking about the launching for a new record and is location scouting for the launch.  Voodoo must be a recording artist.  These people must be her band, or her management team or something.  She seems very serious about her new record and her “work” as she reminds the women she’s been talking with of the “rules” to refer to her as Voodoo while they’re working.  This other woman Voodoo talks to is blond with her hair in a bun.  I think these other people are like management, as the blond-haired woman makes a comment about being paid enough to be on this “tour.”  This woman also questions if they are “working” and Voodoo says “We’re always working.  This is The Working.”

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Q: Is”The Working” the name of the band or ??

Voodoo finds this location of significance for the launch of her new record because of all of the location’s associations with aliens.  She lists off a number of them.

Q: Why is this important to her?  What is her connection to aliens?  Is she just a fanatic alien conspiracy theorist?

She mentions connections such as an alien abduction, and a guy who turned into a bat in 1939, pointing out that it is or should be common knowledge.  She points up to the sky which in the horizon happens to be the Halo building and says “They know.  They all know.”

Q: Was she referring to people in general or those at Halo?!  I assume she meant Halo.

At another point they are literally standing under a huge billboard of the CEO of Halo, Jacob Marlowe with the quote, “We are making the next new world.”  Halo is introduced in the issue as a company like Apple and Google rolled into one, with cutting edge everyday technologies like the HaloPhone, HaloCell (batteries) or HaloLife solar for homes which we see ads for in the background.

Q: How does Voodoo fit into all of this?  Maybe her band is part of an alien-centric cult? Maybe her affinity towards alien things is because she herself if part alien, but doesn’t know.  That atleast fits very well with the original origin for Voodoo who was half human, half Kherubim.  Maybe she’s having these weird visions, which she’s always had but put into the lyrics of her music, but now, as she’s getting older are becoming stronger.  Her visions could be in the form of actually seeing people being revealed as aliens, as her original powers had to do with being able to see aliens, specifically the Daemonites, disguised as humans.  Maybe she thinks releasing her new record in a location with significant alien history, she will somehow be able to somehow contact aliens.  Perhaps this album, she is exposing herself to the world as being half-alien, a gimmick to the record label executives or maybe the rest of the band, even though she doesn’t know that she really IS half-alien.

Maybe her affinity towards alien things is because she herself if part alien, but doesn’t know.  That atleast fits very well with the original origin for Voodoo who was half human, half Kherubim.  Maybe she’s having these weird visions, which she’s always had but put into the lyrics of her music, but now, as she’s getting older are becoming stronger.  Her visions could be in the form of actually seeing people being revealed as aliens, as her original powers had to do with being able to see aliens, specifically the Daemonites, disguised as humans.  Maybe she thinks releasing her new record in a location with significant alien history, she will somehow be able to somehow contact aliens.  Perhaps this album, she is exposing herself to the world as being half-alien, a gimmick to the record label executives or maybe the rest of the band, even though she doesn’t know that she really IS half-alien.

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Miles Craven and Julian

It really is a small world here.  As Voodoo and her posse walk by a cafe, we are then introduced to Miles Craven and Julian who recognize Voodoo.  I’m not sure how well-established Voodoo is in her career if she’s a c-lister or what, but Miles Craven recognizes her as the ex of someone who through a Clinton fundraiser in Connecticut.  Maybe Voodoo’s known in some smaller music and political circles.  Interesting that she dated someone involved with politics who also knows Miles Craven.  VERY small world.  A little too convenient.  IF the “Division” is IO, did Miles Craven know that Zealot was just around the

Q: IF the “Division” is IO, did Miles Craven know that Zealot was just around the corner, and that Michael Cray was across the street in the Halo building about to attempt an assassination?  More on Michael Cray in a bit.  This version of Miles Craven is younger and much more laid back than the original version.  He also is revealed to be married to Julian.  Miles must be taking a work break to meet with his husband for coffee?  Hmm, I wonder is Julian, is actually a mole for Jacob Marlowe and Julian is actually,… Hadrian — Spartan!  Hey, why not.

This version of Miles Craven is younger and much more laid back than the original version.  He also is revealed to be married to Julian.  Miles must be taking a work break to meet with his husband for coffee?  Hmm, I wonder is Julian, is actually a mole for Jacob Marlowe and Julian is actually,… Hadrian — Spartan!  Hey, why not.

Q: Miles must be taking a work break to meet with his husband for coffee?  Hmm, I wonder is Julian, is actually a mole for Jacob Marlowe and Julian is actually,… Hadrian — Spartan!  Hey, why not.

Hmm, I wonder is Julian, is actually a mole for Jacob Marlowe and Julian is actually,… Hadrian — Spartan!  Hey, why not.

At this point, we don’t know who he is, but if you’re familiar with WildStorm or have read the Storm Warning, then you’ll know what later on is revealed, that Miles is the Director of a secret government organization named IO (International Operations).

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Angela Spica, The Engineer

They aren’t talking about anything important, just hanging out having a conversation that was sparked by seeing Voodoo.  A dark-haired woman approaches them and Miles Craven recognizes her as Angela Spica, a researcher of his.  WildStorm fans know Angela as the Engineer from the Authority.  Miles basically refers to her as a crackhead.  One assumes he still has her under his employment even though he thinks she’s a crackhead because she must be a brilliant indispensable researcher.  Turns out she is stalking him cause she hasn’t been able to get any headway in getting more support for her research.  Miles acknowledges that she’s done groundbreaking work, but apparently, he has no idea what she’s working on because she’s trying to convince him to give her more resources and support for something big she’s been working on.  Maybe because they are a top secret government agency, they also don’t operate under typical rules.  Maybe all their employees somehow operate outside the laws, etc.  Angela Spica here does come across a bit of a mess.  She seems to have been experimenting on herself and is bleeding out badly.  She seems desperate and angry.

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Q: Why is Angela yelling at Miles that she wants “this thing out of me?”

She’s the one who put it in!  She can take it out!  Though I suppose she may mean she’s doing it for her research and she wants support and resources so she doesn’t have to use herself to experiment on.  I guess she’s past asking nicely ha ha.  She’s being super aggressive.

When the waiter at the cafe, Phil, says “excuse me, but…,”cause she’s causing a scene I suppose, Zealot just so happens to have been grabbing a coffee from the same cafe on her way out and says “It takes all sorts.”

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Q: Will Phil reappear again later?  Just curious since he has a name and this WSU seems so tightly knit.  Who do we know who could be named Phil in the old WSU?

Q:  Sorry if I’m just naive, but what does “it” in “It takes all sorts” refer to or mean?

It takes all sorts to raise a child in the context of a “village?”  Naa.  Or just that it takes all sorts of people in general for the world to run or something?

Angela walks off discouraged.  She’s talking to herself about the sales pitch promises that joining IO gave her.  Sounds like she was recruited to be an engineer with the promise to “serve the world” but she feels they’re just keeping it broken.  Ah politics and bureaucracy.

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As she is thinking this, she happens to be right outside the Halo building where a crowd is forming because there was a flash of light up in the building just before a man crashes through a window and is falling to his death.  Angela sees no other option but to activate the biotech she has in her body to try to help.

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It looks VERY painful to activate as little pieces of metal seem to break out of her skin, as she bleeds out, encasing her in a suit of armor from head to toe.  Her transformation is actually kinda horrific, almost reminded me of the film The Fly.

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Q: How does this process not kill her?  It’s like her body is being ripped apart.

She flies up and catches the man and then smashes into a window.  We learn that the mane is the CEO of Halo, Jacob Marlowe.  Angela is bleeding through the armor and Jacob offers to help.

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It might just be the artist’s rendition of the armor, but it looks a bit clunky and bulky.  Nothing like the original, which is fine, but very mech-like.  Interesting thing I noticed, again, not sure if it’s the artist, but when she flies off I noticed that the armor looked noticeably different.  It’s almost as if she was turning into a plane.

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Many elements of her armor looked rounded off and smoothed out.  Does Angela make the armor change, or is it in a constant state of change or maybe evolution?

Q: Does Angela make the armor change, or is it in a constant state of change or maybe evolution?

It seems like this may be the WSU’s first official exposure to anything like Angela Spica, a superhero of sorts.  The news seems to just write off the public display as either a publicity stunt or just some woman with a homemade jetpack posing as a potential danger.  They don’t talk about the heroic deed at all.  Come to think of it, I think if people in real life witnessed someone flying around in a jetpack in a city might think it cool, but definitely dangerous for the person and for others.

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As she flies off, Jacob Marlow, Lord Emp, makes a phone call to Adrianna!  Void!  And reports that Michael Cray, Deathblow, a just tried to kill him and requests for the CAT to wake up.

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WildCATs and Cole Cash, Gifter

From the Storm Warning we learn CAT (Covert Action Team) is a part of IO consisting of 4 members.  We also learn from it that there are some CATs which are unaccounted for called WildCATs!!  In this issue Jacob Marlowe just requested to wake up a CAT!  Maybe Halo either has some moles, sleeper CATs, or he means “wake” up as in “Manchurian Candidate” CATs within IO!!  Either way, from Storm Warning, we pretty much gather later on in the comic that Cole Cash, Grifter is part of this Halo’s WildCAT tasked with finding Angela Spica.

Q: Is Grifter the only member of Halo’s WildCAT so far?

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Michael Cray, Deathblow

Michael Cray, Deathblow, is found in the IO Manhattan station being debriefed/interrogated on his botched mission by Miles Craven.

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Q: Black Razors?

Here we discover that Michael Cray is one of IO’s Wetworks, and best “hitters” who gets personally invested in his targets.

We learn that Wetworks is part of IO, and that both Michael Cray and IO want Jacob Marlowe dead.  IO doesn’t like the path Halo is going down believing Halo “exerts scary power over the economy, the government, and the shape of the future.”  Their manipulation to deter them in the market hasn’t been working.

Q: Why does Michael Cray want Jacob Marlowe dead?

Either way, Michael Cray’s “hit” didn’t go as planned.

The failed assassination is then recounted from the perspective of Jacob Marlowe who is speaking with Adrianna Tereshkova (Void).  It is revealed here that Marlowe has some xenobiological security alarm that gets triggered by those who are non-human coming through the door, and to Marlowe’s surprise, was triggered by Michael Cray.  This seems to suggest that Michael Cray has some xenobiological make-up.

Q: In old WSU, Cray and others had what was called the Gen Factor, kinda the WSU version of the mutant gene.  What we have here sounds more like alien DNA.

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At the end of Craven and Cray’s meeting we see the trademark Deathblow insigna, two red stripes, down Cray’s left forearm as he begins to bleed from his nose and fall flat on his face.

Q: Is this a preexisting condition or is this something new?  Perhaps something brought out by his interaction with Marlowe?  Like an alien related, xenobiological reaction due to exposure?  Has is Gen-Factor been activated?

Skywatch

During the conversation between Miles Craven and Michael Cray, Cray says “Skywatch don’t share everything with us.”  This implies that there is a relationship between IO and Skywatch, one where some things are shared between the two.  So that could mean that Skywatch is US government like IO is or maybe they are affiliated with the UN, like the old WSU.  Could Henry Bendix be far behind?  No.  Storm Warning has confirmed his involvement soon.  I assume Skywatch is a secret science or space program.

Q: Could Henry Bendix be far behind?  No.  Storm Warning has confirmed his involvement soon.  I assume Skywatch is a secret science or space program.

I assume Skywatch is a secret science or space program.

Jacob Marlowe, Lord Emp and Void, Adrianna Tereshkova

During his encounter with Michael Cray, Marlowe opens his “spur” for the first time in about 100 years which seems to be some kind of weapon that comes out of his wrist like Spider-Man.  Somehow, Cray” grabs his wrist and his touch alone disintegrates Marlowe’s “spur” which causes feedback in the form of a bright blast which knocks them both backwards, Cray back out the door into the wall of the hallway and Marlowe straight back and out the window.

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Marlowe explains all of this to Adrianna in what I assume is a part of the Halo building where they store various equipment as we see crates and lots of big machinery that looks like mechs.

Marlowe wonders how Cray can be seen by a xenobiologial and be able to be able to destroy non-human biology by touching it.  Marlowe is a bit paranoid, drinking alcohol mixed with polonium to build up a tolerance for radiation.  In their conversation, it is also implied that Marlowe has been alive for a long time, which matches with the old WSU.  I like his outlook that “there’s no such thing as being alive too long.  There’s always something new.”

Q: I can’t really tell by the art right now, but is Marlowe of a below-average human height like he was in the old WSU?

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Adrianna seems a little odd.  Almost like a robot.  We discover that something had happened to Adrianna which has caused her to possibly be mostly dead.  Her eyes are also missing their pupils.

Marlowe asks Adrianna where she was when he was falling to his death.  That leads me to think that he expected that she would be capable of doing something about it.  In the old WSU Adrianna, Void, had teleportation abilities, and in the cartoon, she was like a living computer.  Not sure if that was every really a part of who she was in the comics.  She definitely seems a bit detached like a computer.  Marlowe didn’t expect her to be able to “joke.”

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Connections to DCU

Ooo, you see the Daily Planet!?  In the “Storm Warning” Warren Ellis DID mention that there would be “hooks” to the DCU!!  This means on this WS Earth, Metropolis exists!  Other DCU characters exist here, and can somehow possibly be incorporated into the new WSU organically.  It’s almost like the opposite of adding WSU characters into the DCU during the New 52!  Instead of fitting in the WSU origins and concepts into existing DCU history, here it begins with the making of WSU history with the potential of DCU character origins stemming from it.  Perhaps we’ll get to see new interpretations of DCU characters AS WSU characters!  Awesome!  Incorporating WSU into DCU this way might actually be more organic!  How exciting!

Final Thoughts

I see the many connections that they’re making.  In the old WSU, I don’t remember what the origins of the Gen-Factor was, maybe it WAS alien?  Either way, I just kinda hope they don’t replace the Gen Factor with just alien DNA, thought maybe it’s just semantics to me.  If they do make the Gen-Factor alien related, I guess I’m fine so long as it’s still called Gen-Factor.  At least that takes the Gen Factor away from just being a mutant gene or some ambitious scientific experiment.  I never really associate IO specifically with the story of the WildCATs, but they way Ellis is writing the story now, IO is now integral to the WildCATs origin, as IO seems to be at the center of the alien stuff with Halo in the WSU.

With the set up so far, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover Daemonites withing IO or Skywatch.  Or maybe with the Division that Zealot is a part of (if it’s not also IO).

As far as everything being so tightly knit.  I feel it’s definitely more good than bad.  Sure it may seem contrived if it’s too convenient,.. BUT it does lend itself to high drama and stakes.  Ellis did reference Game of Thrones after all in the Storm Warning.  Oh and speaking of high drama have you seen Riverdale yet?!?!

I also hope they don’t forget those characters, mostly from StormWatch, who got their powers from the comet effect and needed to get activated by Synergy, I think that was her name?

By the end we’re left with Angela Spica on the run, and both Halo and IO after her!  We know Grifter is introduced in the second issue as he is on the cover.  Does Angela eventually join the WildCATs?  My hopes

Q: Does Angela eventually join the WildCATs?  There is no way there won’t be an Authority right?  Or is there?

Storm Warning has also confirmed that Midnighter and Apollo will be in the series eventually and I think in the next two issues, Jenny Sparks will also be introduced.

My hopes is that the first of the WildCATs, since it’s “teams” is with the original team, and then other teams with others, especially with the secondary WildCATs from the old WSU.

Man this is exciting.  It really is like how when we watch a film on an existing property from a book or comic where you kinda have an idea of what to expect, but on the other hand, films seems to change some things around a bit, and this is like that!  It’s like we’re watching the film version of the WSU!!  I love it!  Cannot wait to see how it all builds and plays out!  It really is like the secret history of the WSU.  Who were these characters before we saw them in their original books in the old WSU!

I really do hope Ellis bring on EVERY character from the old WSU!  The original cast of StormWatch, Backlash, Taboo, Rose Tatoo, cast of Divine Right please!!!  I can name so many more!

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Q: Who is the woman in “Analytics” at the end with Miles Craven?


Other Reviews and Updates

9/10 Rating from Newsarama (Spoiler-Free Review)

5/5 Rating from Comic Bastards (Spoiler-Free Review)

Essential quote:

… not one that you should miss. Buy this book. Enjoy this book because my God did it remind me of why I read comics when I so desperately needed that reminder. The Wild Storm #1 may just be the first perfect comic of 2017

9/10 Rating from Comicosity (Spoiler-Free Review)

8.5 IGN Review

B+ Rating from Comicbook.com (Mostly Spoiler-Free Review)

Things From Another World Review (Spoiler- Free)

Riding Out The Storm (DC Blog Review)

The Wild Storm #2 Variant Jim Lee Pencils w/ Scott Williams Inks

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and colors by Alex Sinclair
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READ MORE WILDSTORM POSTS!
Wild Storm Pre-Launch Speculation
Storm Warning: What is the Wild Storm

Other WSU Social Media
WildStorm Universe on Facebook
WildStorm selections on YouTube
Me on Twitter
WildStorm Addiction Web Site
WildStorm Addition on Twitter
Wild Times: An Oral History of WildStorm Studios on Twitter
Weathering Wildstorm A great blog going through WildStorm Continuity!
Wild Times on Facebook
WildTimes

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WildStorm Old Official Twitter
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